"Cold calling sucks, but only when you suck at cold calling." ― Rob Liano
Cold calling is a skill every salesperson must master. And how do you do that?
The answer is simple — with practice! We know it could be a hard nut to crack, but with a consistent approach, you can cross hurdles between you and cold calling the leads.
Studies show that reaching a prospect takes an average of 8 cold call attempts.
It means not once or twice; you have to approach potential clients multiple times to ace your sales journey.
The best way to be good at anything is by learning from those who've already done that.
In this blog post, we will share insights from our podcast guest Risa Khamsi, senior SDR at LeadIQ, with 20 years of experience in the sales industry.
Here’s what we’ve covered:
- What is cold calling?
- Why is cold calling important for C-suite executives?
- Top 8 cold calling tips for calling C-suite executives.
So let’s dive in!
What’s your pre-call sales planning expert plan?
What is a cold calling?
Cold calling is the process of researching your ideal prospect, finding a solution to their problem, and approaching them via a phone call. Cold calling seems to be the oldest way of approaching sales and marketing.
Cold calling works due to a data-driven approach. You reach out to the prospects with an exact roadmap of how you can help them, making the prospect decide whether to buy the service or not.
There can be many ways of cold calling the prospects. You can get in touch with them on social media and get on a call. Or you can get their contact number and call them directly.
Recommended read: Cold Calling Tips To Help You Win Big In 2022
Why is cold calling important for C-Suite executives ?
How should you approach cold calling when it's the necessary thing you need to do? Follow these best practices.
#1. Takes less time than cold emailing
"Cold calling saves a lot of time over long-form email copies. 75% of my calls are booked this way." - Risa Khamsi
Cold emailing requires good copywriting skills, an understanding of the person's psychology, and good writing and formatting skills that could consume a little time. Conversely, cold calling is a direct human-to-human interaction where sales reps can convey their emotions to prospects with better chances of conversion. Cold emails are likely to get lost, deleted, or considered spam.
Research by Crunchbase shows that more than half (57%) of C-level executives prefer that salespeople contact them by phone. Why not do more of what the prospects want? Isn't it?
#2 Builds confidence to face prospects
As a sales leader, you have to deal with strangers. You need to learn the art of understanding, speaking, and building rapport with strangers, finding prospects, and converting them into a customer. These are must-have skills to become a successful salesperson.
The skill of interacting with strangers helps you both in your personal and professional life. For instance, if you go to a new palace you don't know anything about, but you meet a stranger, and because you have excellent communication skills, you quickly make friends with them.
#3 Build deeper relationships
It's easy to build deeper relationships via cold calling because it's a human-to-human interaction that involves a flow of emotions. You talk to the prospect directly and convey your point of view.
Building the rapport by following up occasionally creates an emotional bond with the prospect that makes you a trustworthy person. Once the "trust factor" is built, you're on your way to making more sales.
Recommended read: Cold call sales script for B2B sales tips + templates
Top 8 cold calling tips for calling C-suite executives
Cold calling is a skill that works like a charm when you know the secret. Risa Khamsi shares the top 8 best cold calling techniques that will boost the effectiveness of your sales strategy.
1. Prioritize persona based on their bandwidth.
Prioritize reaching out to those who you think will respond to you first.
If the VP of sales is busier than the head of sales, approach the sales director. At the same time, the mindset you should have is to make progress easier. Think about making the complicated process more accessible, fun, and approachable.
Also, implement the multi-headed approach to prospecting, which means approaching multiple people from the same company.
For instance, you could refer to the VP of sales if you had a conversation with the head of sales, and he referenced you. That helps to build rapport.
2. Have an active social life
Having an active social life can be a cherry on the top. When you have a good network on social media, it's easier to reach and connect with prospects.
However, Lisa doesn't recommend it to be the best strategy.
Recommended podcast: How can sales professionals leverage the art of social selling?
3. Visualize the prospect as a friend.
It's evident that when you're calling a senior leader, you feel nervous and uncomfortable.
What Risa recommends in such situations is to visualize the prospect as a friend.
How would you feel even if you were talking to a friend? Please keep it simple, stay positive, and speak whatever you want. That's the approach you need to adapt.
When you keep the other person at higher levels than you, you limit yourself from better possibilities.
Here are a few tips for an approach toward cold calling:
- Use a tone and pitch that reflects how friendly you want the call to go.
- Keep it casual and empathize.
- Don't be harsh and challenge yourself.
- You're human; they're human; try to touch the emotional side of things.
- Take time to build rapport with them.
4. Dealing with "Hey, I don't have time."
At every stage of the sales process, there will be objections. The best way to deal is to handle such objections with patience.
Risa Khamsi suggests a smart counter to the objection shared by her boss Jemson Pens -
"You're extremely slammed, I know, I get it right, but can you give me just 30 seconds of your time to give a context to see if this is worth a call back at a better time?"
Risa assures that the prospect says yes six out of seven times. And the conversation continues.
Your first job is to get the first "Yes," and things move in a positive direction.
Things to say in those 30 seconds:
The first and foremost thing you can win is by referencing the proper research you've conducted about the company.
Let's say if they're going outbound with a LinkedIn sales navigator, the way you can identify it is a gold badge on their profile. The way to approach this is,
"My understanding is that some of your reps are using the LinkedIn sales navigator to implement outbound sales. Am I on the right track there?
It will probably resonate with them because you've already performed the research.
Then, please give them a five-sentence value proposition about why teams use you.
5. Ask open-ended situational questions.
Open-ended questions are questions that can not be answered merely with "Yes" or "No".
They need to be answered with a little bit of context. Open-ended questions get a lot of people thinking, such as,
What are your reps doing when they can't find an email or phone number with insert or competitor?
Focus on the most challenging problem they're dealing with. And they'll show interest.
Ask situational questions (gives them a picture of what their sales reps do in that case?) Ask questions where they have to think about the situation and visualize what reps would do to get them talking.
"Asking open-ended questions about hypothetical situations will allow you to ask more detailed questions about the product later." Says Risa.
6. Mindset for Cold calling
"The key is not to overthink." - Risa Khamsi.
Having an optimistic approach will help you to win the cold call. Become positive about yourself and the prospect.
"Be happy that everything will work out, and the call will be wonderful," says Risa.
Another exciting approach Risa mentions is to give yourself a mental thank you for everything good that's going to happen with you.
She affirms that 95% of the time, the call goes as you've thought it to be.
8. Follow up rigorously.
Following up after the call is as important as getting on a call. Your prospects are busy people; they need time to think and make decisions. Following up is essential to remind them about your offers so that they can consider them.
At times, following up could be difficult; it's a process that requires tremendous patience.
You'll have to face a lot of rejections. Following up teaches resilience, the ability to show up even when you've been rejected.
Want to become a pro at cold calling?
There's no limit to what cold-calling success can bring to you; we're proud of you because you've already taken a step further in the right direction.
And, we've recently launched our exclusive ebook "EXPERT PLAN FOR A SUCCESSFUL SALES CALL" just for you, which you can get right here.
At Convin, we help C-suite executives get the most out of their sales calling effort via our conversation intelligence platform, which allows them to record, transcribe, and analyze the sales conversations.
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